David Mitchell would be the first to admit that he’s not had the most drama-filled life, having had a pleasant childhood and successful adulthood where the only bad things to ever really happen to him were the death of his beloved grandad, and getting a bad back. But he has gone on to be a successful comedy writer and actor, and Back Story charts how that came about.
Taking in his early family life and academic prowess, attending Cambridge and joining Footlights (where many a Brit comedy star got their start, and where he’d meet his future comedy partner Robert Webb), the nursing of unrequited infatuations, and years of meetings and projects that never quite made it before finally fulfilling his dream of becoming a TV comedian, one of this books strengths was how easy it was to hear Mitchell’s voice when reading it, as well as his honesty when it came to admitting unflattering things about himself (not that there’s anything particularly heinous within – mostly moments of snobbery or jealousy). It’s main weakness was that while a drama free life is nice to lead, it doesn’t make for the most thrilling of celebrity memoirs. Without having ever so much as told any of the girls he had crushes on how he felt, let alone having developed a drug problem or thrown anything from a hotel window, it’s a good thing that Mitchell can make things like trips to M&S to buy underpants amusing or this would have been a much duller read.
If you’re in the market for celebrity memoirs there are definitely more essential reads out there, but if you want to find out exactly how similar David Mitchell is to Mark Corrigan then this is the book for you.